What Ski Gear Do I Need?

Picking the right ski gear can be difficult.



With such a range of products and prices
how do you know what to buy?



Can you get kitted up on a budget without being ill prepared
for whatever weather the mountains throw at you?



Below are my recommendations for what kit you need to stay safe and warm on the slopes. The Head-to-Toe Guide will also direct you to the best deals available across the web so you don't spend more money than you have to, or waste hours searching for the best prices.

Head-to-Toe Guide

Hats
Unlike many of the other essentials for skiing, I don't think there is much difference between the cheapest hats and those at the other end of the scale - unless you are planning a polar expedition! As long as the hat covers your ears and forehead it's really just a matter of style. Do you want a plain beanie hat to match you outfit, or would you rather one of the many novelty hats you see on the slopes? For those that like the feeling of wind in their hair perhaps the headband style is more to your taste. The headband still covers the ears and forehead, where you are most likely to feel the cold, but still letting some heat escape on those sunny days on the piste.
One piece of advice I will offer is bring a spare hat if you can. There is nothing much worse than having to put the same wet hat back on after a damp mornings skiing.

Ebay have a huge range of hats from as little as 1p.

Helmets
Helmets are becoming a lot more popular these days, and I suppose it makes sense to wear some head protection in a sport where you throw yourself down a snow covered hillside at break-neck speeds! If you are thinking of getting a helmet I would suggest you try hiring one first to try it out. Helmets do cost a lot of money and some people just don't like them, so it is probably a good idea to "try before you buy".


Sunglasses
Sunglasses are a very important part of your ski gear. When skiing your eyes are exposed to around 4% more UV per 300metres you are above sea level (ie. at 2100m there is 28% more UV exposure). Snow also can reflect up to 80% of the suns UV rays which can further damage your eyes. (% information from www.sunsmart.com). If you eyes are left unprotected it can cause a condition called "Snow Blindness". Snow Blindness is normally a temporary condition and it causes headaches, blurred vision and even loss of vision altogether. For more information click here.
For these reasons I NEVER ski without protection for my eyes, even on a cloudy day.
If you are buying a cheap pair of glasses, you must make sure they protect against 100% of UVA and UVB rays. I use Oakley sunglasses and have found them to be by far the best glasses I have ever used. Oakley have special Plutonite lenses in all their glasses which offer excellent protection and clarity of vision. I have just bought a pair of Oakleys with polarised lenses, which are a bit more expencive. The polarised lenses eliminate the glare from the sun you still get with normal glasses. For more information on Oakley lenses and why they are the best click here.

Oakley sunglasses can be expensive but I think they are worth it, and if you know where to look you can save a lot of money. The cheapest site I have found is www.discountedsunglasses.co.uk

Click on this link for bargins on lots of fashonable brands across a whole range of ski and snowboard gear...Surfdome

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